Recent Work on the Results of Fertilization in Angiosperms, Ann.
The Spermatophyta fall into two classes, Gymncsperms (q.v.) and Angiosperms; the former are the more primitive group, appearing earlier in geological time and showing more resemblance in the course of their life-history to the Pteridophyta.
The monocotyledons, one of the primary divisions of angiosperms, typically possess large Monocoty- leaves with broad Iedonous sheathing bases containType.
Full morphological and organographical details are given in the articles on the various groups of plants, such as those on the Algae, Bryophyta, Pteridophyta, Angiosperms, Gymnosperms, &c. The following works may also be consulted:
This surface layer in the typically subaerial shoot of the sporophyte in Pteridophytes and Phanerogams is known as the epidermis, though the name is restricted by some writers, on account of developmental differences, to the surface layer of the shoot of Angiosperms, and by others extended to the surface layer of the whole plant in both these groups.
In certain families of Angiosperms a peculiar tissue, called laticiferous tissue is met with.
Throughout the Angiosperms the epidermis of the shoot originates from separate initials, which never divide tangentially, so that the young shoot is covered by a single layer of dividing cells, the dermatogen.
The union of the germ nuclei has now been observed in all the main groups of Angiosperms, Gymnosperms, Ferns, Mosses, Algae and Fungi, and presents a striking resemblance in all.
Though Angiosperms become dominant in all known plant-bearing Upper Cretaceous deposits, their origin dates even earlier.
DICOTYLEDONS, in botany, the larger of the two great classes of angiosperms, embracing most of the common flower-bearing plants.
In 1827 Brown announced his important discovery of the distinction between Angiosperms and Gymnosperms, and the philosophical character of his work led A.
ANGIOSPERMS. The botanical term "Angiosperm" (ayyeEov, receptacle, and o-71pua, seed) was coined in the form Angiospermae by Paul Hermann in 1690, as the name of that one of his primary divisions of the plant kingdom, which included flowering plants possessing seeds enclosed in capsules, in contradistinction to his Gymnospermae, or flowering plants with achenial or schizo-carpic fruits - the whole fruit or each of its pieces being here regarded as a seed and naked.
There is no land-area from the poles to the equator, where plant-life is possible, upon which Angiosperms are not found.
They occur also abundantly in the shallows of rivers and fresh-water lakes, and in less number in salt lakes and in the sea; such aquatic Angiosperms are not, however, primitive forms, but are derived from immediate land-ancestors.
In the larger of the two great groups into which the Angiosperms are divided, the Dicotyledons, the bundles in the very young stem are arranged in an open ring, separating a central pith from an outer cortex.
This remarkable double fertilization as it has been called, although only recently discovered, has been proved to take place in widely-separated families, and both in Monocotyledons and Dicotyledons, and there is every probability that, perhaps with variations, it is the normal process in Angiosperms. After impregnation the fertilized oosphere immediately surrounds itself with a cell-wall and becomes the oospore which by a process of growth forms the embryo of the new plant.
In the feature of fruit and seed, by which the distribution of Angiosperms is effected, we have a distinctive character of the class.
There is no doubt that the phylum of Angiosperms has not sprung from that of Gymnosperms.
Within each class the flower-characters as the essential feature of Angiosperms supply the clue to phylogeny, but the uncertainty regarding the construction of the primitive angiospermous flower gives a fundamental point of divergence in attempts to construct progressive sequences of the families.
In his Philosophia Botanica (1751) Linnaeus grouped the genera then known into sixty-seven orders (fragmenta), all except five of which are Angiosperms. He gave names to these but did not characterize them or attempt to arrange them in larger groups.
The orders are carefully characterized, and those of Angiosperms are grouped in fourteen classes under the two main divisions Monocotyledons and Dicotyledons.
Distribution by seed appears to satisfy so well the requirements of Angiosperms that distribution by vegetative buds is only an occasional process.
A modification of Eichler's system, embracing the most recent views of the affinities of the orders of Angiosperms, has been put forward by Dr Adolf Engler of Berlin, who adopts the suggestive names Archichlamydeae and Metachlamydeae for the two subdivisions of Dicotyledons.
Chamberlain of Chicago University have given a valuable general account of the morphology of Angiosperms as far as concerns the flower, and the series of events which ends in the formation of the seed (Morphology of Angiosperms, Chicago, 1903).
(Oxford, 1890); Solereder, Systematische Anatomie der Dicotyledonen (Stuttgart, 1899); van Tieghem, Elements de botanique; Coulter and Chamberlain, Morphology of Angiosperms (New York, 1903).
Fungi Algae Bryophyta Pteridophyta Phanerogamia Gymnosperms Angiosperms Algae in this wide sense may be briefly described as the aggregate of those simpler forms of plant life usually devoid, like the rest of the Thallophyta, of differentiation into root, stem and leaf; but, unlike other Thallophyta, possessed of a colouring matter;.
In this book attention was also directed to the succession of forms in the various geological periods, with the important result (stated in modern terms) that in the Palaeozoic period the Pteridophyta are found to predominate; in the Mesozoic, the Gymnosperms; in the Cainozoic, the Angiosperms, a result subsequently more fully stated in his "Tableau des genres de vegetaux fossiles" (D'Orbigny, Diet.
The Gymnosperms, with the Angiosperms, constitute the existing groups of seed-bearing plants or Phanerogams: the importance of the seed as a distinguishing feature in the plant kingdom may be emphasized by the use of the designation Spermophyta for these two groups, in contrast to the Pteridophyta and Bryophyta in which true seeds are unknown.
As Coulter and Chamberlain express it, " the habitats of the Gymnosperms to-day indicate that they either are not at home in the more genial conditions affected by Angiosperms, or have not been able to maintain themselves in competition with this group of plants."
These naked-seeded plants are of special interest on account of their great antiquity, which far exceeds that of the Angiosperms, and as comprising different types which carry us back to the Palaeozoic era and to the forests of the coal period.
Although there are several morphological features in the three genera of Gnetales which might seem to bring them into line with the Angiosperms, it is usual to regard these resemblances as parallel developments along distinct lines rather than to interpret them as evidence of direct relationship.
There is no doubt that the Cycadophyta, using the term suggested by Nathorst in 1902, was represented in the Mesozoic period by several distinct families or classes which played a dominant part in the floras of the world before the advent of the Angiosperms. In addition to the bisporangiate reproductive shoots of Bennettites, distinguished by many important features from the flowers of recent Cycads, a few specimens of flowers have been discovered exhibiting a much closer resemblance to those of existing Cycads, e.g.
Starting with the Permo-Carboniferous vegetation, and omitting for the moment the Glossopteris flora, we find a comparatively homogeneous flora of wide geographical range, consisting to a large extent of arborescent lycopods, calamites, and other vascular cryptogams, plants which occupied a place comparable with that of Gymnosperms and Angiosperms in our modern forests; with these were other types of the greatest phylogenetic importance, which serve as finger-posts pointing to lines of evolution of which we have but the faintest signs among existing plants.
There are, moreover, no facts furnished by fossil plants in support of the view that Angiosperms were represented either in the low-lying forests or on the slopes of the mountains of the Coal period.
This change is most strikingly illustrated by the inrush of Angiosperms, in the equally marked decrease in the Cycads, and in the altered character of the ferns.
It would appear that in this case the new influence, supplied by the advent of Angiosperms, had its origin in the north.
At a later stage - in postWealden days - it was the appearance of Angiosperms, probably in northern latitudes, that formed the chief motive power in accelerating the transition in the fades of plant-life from that which marked what we have called the Mesozoic floras, to the vegetation of the Upper Cretaceous and Tertiary periods.
With the advent of Angiosperms began, as the late marquis of Saporta expressed it, " Une revolution, ainsi rapide dans sa marche qu'universelle dans ses effets."
A flora consisting entirely, with a single doubtful exception, of Gymnosperms and Cryptogams gives place to one containing many flowering plants; and these increase so rapidly that before long they seem to have crowded out many of the earlier types, and to have themselves become the dominant forms. Not only do Angiosperms suddenly become dominant in all known plantbearing deposits of Upper Cretaceous age, but strangely enough the earliest found seem to belong to living orders, and commonly have been referred to existing genera.
In rocks approximately equivalent to the Lower Greensand of England, or slightly earlier, Angiosperms make their first appearance; but as the only strata of this age in Britain are of marine origin, we have to turn to other countries for the evidence.
These deposits seem to be equivalent to British Wealden rocks, though in the latter, even in their upper part, no trace of Angiosperms has been discovered.
No undoubted Angiosperms have yet been found below the Cretaceous system.